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Experience Iceland Through Environmental Volunteer Projects

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    8

One of my favorite volunteer experiences!

In 2013, I volunteered in Reykjavik with SEEDS, Iceland's VFP counterpart. Volunteering is apparently not a common pursuit among Icelanders, so SEEDS has taken advantage of 1) Iceland's booming tourist industry and 2) tourists who do like to volunteer. The SEEDS program I did involved helping a soccer club called Throttur with their annual international tournament for teen players. The Throttur hosts provided a comfortable living space, groceries, and free passes to the city's top swimming pool facility, right across from our lodging. The work was physically challenging, but not difficult -- cleaning up the fields each day, setting up beds for the players and coaches, etc.

Working with VFP for travelling is awesome. They offer a ton of choices, the fees are exceptionally low compared to others volunteer-abroad programs, and the staff is helpful, knowledgeable, and quick to respond to questions and concerns.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Impact

    5

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Catching Environmental Airwaves in Iceland

The two weeks I spent in Iceland with my new international family was truly an experience of a lifetime. We were all there to learn what it meant to be environmentally aware, meet people from other countries, and of course take in the amazing sights, sounds, and culture of Iceland. As the daylight and temperatures of October were turning down, allowing the Northern Lights to be seen, the amplifiers of the International Airwaves music festival were turning up.

We had a comfortable house in the middle of a park space with a good walk to downtown Reykjavik. Our group quickly bonded with the help of our awesome leaders. We enjoyed some informative movies and guest speakers about population and energy consumption in the mornings and braved the weather a couple of days to help a local whale conservation group. We gathered signatures and informed tourist in the streets of downtown Reykjavik earning us a whale watching tour. Our group also got our hands a little dirty weeding the garden beds for our neighbors in the botanical gardens at Cafe Flora. They cooked us an amazing breakfast and lunch for our efforts. We toured a geothermal power plant, went to the Blue Lagoon, and were able to explore the south coast and the inner loop of the Golden Circle seeing waterfalls, geysers, and volcanos with our great van drivers.

We had plenty of free time in the evenings to either rub elbows with the locals at some great free shows during the music festival or on the nights we felt mellow walk to the nearby hot pools and relax local style, which we did often. I think the best part of the trip was just hanging out with my new international family. Sharing meals from around the world, talking, and learning about them and their countries. Ultimately pushing my boundaries and understanding of others and myself.

I would recommend a trip like this to anyone. Its hard to believe how easy it was to arrange and how many amazing people I met and sights I saw in such a short time. I can't wait to figure out my next trip and to see some of my new friends again.

Thank you to Volunteers For Peace for such a great experience!

Michael Byrd
Eugene, Oregon

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Volunteer Experience

    7

great time at the botanical garden in reykjavik

Definitely one of the best experiences I had. Volunteered at the botanical garden for two weeks; the staff there and the volunteer leaders were really awesome and amazing. The organization offers discounted excursions to the volunteers and I did several of them, which were quite amazing actually. The best part of the project was that I got to make friends with people from all over the world!